Confidence growing for Gilman ’25 QB Braden Smearman into senior year

After his junior season was filled with adjustments, 2025 Gilman (MD) quarterback Braden Smearman has settled into his new home as he gets comfortable with his teammates through the offseason.

“Coming into Gilman for my first year last year was definitely a process. I came in halfway through the summer, it was difficult at first to get that connection with my teammates. I believe we started a little bit slower than we would’ve liked and picked it up into next season,” he said.

That offseason schedule has been filled building his rapport with his teammates through workouts. “Going into next year, we’re just continuing to develop our connections, getting in sync with my receivers, get routes and get one-on-ones going through the spring and summer. But the goal is just to win. I just want to be a winning player, make playoffs, have a chance to win a championship. I want to do whatever I can to help my team get as far as we can.”

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While gaining comfort within Gilman’s offense has been a focus through offseason workouts, that hasn’t stopped Smearman from getting additional reps and workouts in. Noah Brannock, Calvert Hall’s former QB who is now at William & Mary, introduced Smearman to Chris Baucia six years ago as QB Factory has become a staple in his development journey.

“[Noah] was the one who recommended me and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. It’s been absolutely phenomenal for me in my growing process,” Smearman added. “His weekly sessions he provides and the wisdom that he has and gives to all of us is a huge help in my game. even outside of football, it’s great life advice. I can go talk to him about anything. I feel like he’s like a second father to me. He’s been huge in my football development and even in my development as a teenager. I’ve been training with him for six years now and he’s a mentor to me.”

Smearman added he looks to “approach each session with a goal in mind” as he focuses on two aspects of his game heading into senior year.

“I’m working on my elbow position. I want to get that higher than last year to get a higher release on the ball,” he added. “I also wanted to improve my footwork. I’ve always had pretty decent feet but I want to get quicker this year because the MIAA is a tough conference and there’s all these athletic linemen and linebackers coming so having quicker feet and finer mechanics will be a huge part in my game.”

At 6-foot-1, 195-pounds and carrying his 4.0 GPA into the end of junior year, Smearman has drawn interest from University of Chicago and Washington University while he plans to visit Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall and “maybe Washington & Lee.”

“I’m flying back out to Chicago in July for their camp and I have Washington & Lee’s camp in July. Then I have this academic megacamp coming up which has a whole bunch of schools I’m interested in.”

While the rising senior looks to become the next Gilman star, Smearman has taken note of his development off the field too.

“I feel like I’ve definitely improved in my confidence. I came out of a rocky situation where that was hindered a bit then at Gilman, they helped me build back my confidence. I feel stronger as a player and a leader for my teammates which is great. And I’ve been fine-tuning my mechanics, focusing on the details that separate me from being an average to great quarterback.”

“Chris Baucia down at QB Factory has been a huge part of that. All the coaches at QB Factory have been a huge help in the process in being the best quarterback that I can be.”